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Seaweed, kelp, bladderwrack (Fucus vesiculosus)

Synonyms/Common Names/Related Substances:

  • Acinetosporaceae (family), Acrochaetiaceae (family), agar, Akkesiphycaceae (family), alanine, Alariaceae (family), algas marinas (Spanish), algin, alginates, alginic acid, Aquamin®, arginine, Arthrocladiaceae (family), Ascophyllum nodosum, Ascoseriaceae (family), Asparagopsis armata (Harv.), aspartic acid, astaxanthin, beta-carotene, beta-glucans, Bifurcariopsidaceae (family), black-tang, bladder, bladder fucus, bladderwrack, Blasen-tang (German), Bonnemasoniaceae (family), brown algae, brown seaweed, brown seaweed extract, brown tropical seaweed, calcium, carrageenans, Carraguard®, Caulacanthaceae (family), Caulerpa lentillifera, Caulerpaceae (family), Cermiaceae (family), Champiaceae (family), chlorophyta, Chordaceae (family), Chordariaceae (family), Chordariopsidaceae (family), Choristocarpaceae (family), cobalamin, Codiaceae (family), Colaconemataceae (family), common seawrack, Corallinaceae (family), Costariaceae (family), Cruoriaceae (family), cut weed, Cutleriaceae (family), Cystocloniaceae (family), Cystophyllum fusiforme, Cystoseiraceae (family), Dasyaceae (family), Delesseriaceae (family), Delisea pulchra (Greville) Montagne, Desmarestiaceae (family), Dictyotaceae (family), dried nori, Dumontiaceae (family), Durvilleaeceae, Dyers fucus, (E)-9-oxooctadec-10-enoic acid (S6C), (E)-10-oxooctadec-8-enoic acid (S5C), Ecklonia cava, Ecklonia cava Kjellman, Ecklonia kurome, Ecklonia stolinifera, Ectocarpaceae (family), edible seaweed, Eisenia arborea, Eisenia bicyclis, Eucheuma cottonii, fatty acids, fermented tangle weed, fiber, Fucaceae (family), fucaxanthin, fuco negro (Spanish), fucoidans, fucophorethols, fucose, fucoxanthin, Fucus, Fucus distichus, Fucus evanescens, Fucus Plus®, Fucus vesiculosus, furanones, Furcellariaceae (family), galactose, Galaxauraceae (family), Gelidiaceae (family), GFS, Gigartinaceae (family), glucose, gluatmic acid, Gracilaria verrucosa, Gracilariaceae (family), green algae, green seaweed, glycine, Hai-ts'ao, Halymeniaceae (family), Heterochordariaceae (family), heterofucans, Himanthaliaceae (family), Hormosiraceae (family), iodine, iron, Ishigeaceae (family), Japanese kelp, Kappaphycus alvarezii, kelp, kelpware, knotted wrack, kombu, Laminaria cloustoni, Laminaria digitata, Laminaria japonica, Laminaria longicruris, Laminaria saccharina, Laminariaceae (family), lectins, Lessoniaceae (family), Liagoraceae (family), Lomentariaceae (family), Macrocystis pyrifera, magnesium, marine algae, marine brown algae, marine carotenoids, marine green algae, marine macroalgae, marine red algae, mekabu fucoidan, Meereiche (German), minerals, mucopolysaccharides, Nemastomataceae (family), Neoralfsiaceae (family), nori, ogonori, omega-3 fatty acids, omega-6 fatty acids, Padina gymnospora, Palmaria palmata, Palmariaceae (family), Petalonia bingamiae, Peyssonneliaceae (family), Phaeophyceae, phaeophyta, phenolics, phloroglucinol, phlorotannins, phosphonyl glycosyl ester diglycerides, phosphorus, Phyllophoraceae (family), Plocamiaceae (family), polyphenols, polysaccharides, popping wrack, Porphyra yezoensis, potassium, proline, protein, Pseudochordaceae (family), Pylaiellaceae (family), Quercus marina, Ralfsiaceae (family), raw nori, red alga, red algae, red fucus, red marine seaweed, red seaweed, Rhodomelaceae (family), Rhodophysemataceae (family), rhodophyta, Rhodymeniaceae (family), rockrack, rockweed, Sarcomeniaceae (family), Sargassaceae (family), Sargassum polycystum, Schweintang (German), Scytosiphonaceae (family), Scytothamnaceae (family), sea alga, sea algae, sea cabbage, sea kelp, sea lettuce, sea oak, sea wrack, seaware, seaweed, seaweed extract, seaweed soup, seeds of tangles, Seetang (German), sodium alginate, Solieriaceae (family), Spatoglossum schröederi, Sphacelariaceae (family), Sphaerococcaceae (family), Splachnidiaceae (family), Sporochnacaeae, Stylonemataceae (family), Stypocaulaceae (family), sulfate, sulfated polysaccharides, sulfonyl ester diglycerides, sulfuryl ester diglycerides, swine tang, tang, tangle weed, tannins, Tasmanian tororokombu, trace metals, tropical marine algae, Ulva lactuca, ulvans, Undaria pinnatifida, uronic acids, varech vésiculeux (French), ventol, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin E, vraic, wakaame, wrack, xylose.
  • Select combination products: Xanthigen®-600 (300mg of brown seaweed extract containing 2.4mg of fucoxanthin and 300mg of pomegranate seed oil).
  • Note: Seaweeds are a polyphyletic group of organisms that are multicellular, brown, or green algae that live in, on, or near the sea floor. Algae are plantlike protists comprising a very large and diverse group of organisms, with species morphology that may vary widely, to the degree that completely different species from different genera appear visually similar. For this reason, molecular sequencing is sometimes employed to differentiate certain species. Thus, overall, there is some disagreement regarding what is considered a "seaweed" over other algal species. This monograph focuses on human clinical, systematic review, meta-analysis, and case report data for the most commonly recognized genera for seaweed, such as those in the Fucaceae and Laminariaceae families, and does not include data on other unrelated organisms sometimes referred to as "seaweed," such as blue-green algae (Cyanobacteria). This monograph focuses on the potential use of seaweed as self-treatment, and therefore discussion of laminaria tents is excluded. Also, the focus of this monograph is not on agar, derived from seaweed, although select studies may be included.

Clinical Bottom Line/Effectiveness

Brief Background:

  • Seaweeds are multicellular, brown, or green algae that live in, on, or near the sea floor. Fucusvesiculosus, also commonly referred to as bladderwrack, is a brown seaweed of the Fucaceae family that grows on the northern coasts of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and the North and Baltic Seas. Its name is sometimes used to refer to Ascophyllum nodosum, another brown seaweed that grows alongside F. vesiculosus. These species are often components of kelp preparations, along with other types of seaweed.
  • F. vesiculosus has traditionally been used to treat disorders of the thyroid gland and as a component of weight loss formulas. It has also been shown in preclinical studies to possess anticoagulant and hypoglycemic properties. However, a review of the literature did not produce clinical trial evidence in support of (or against) the efficacy of bladderwrack for any use in humans.
  • The active ingredients of bladderwrack have not been fully identified, and little research exists on its components. Therefore, most pharmacological activities attributed to F. vesiculosus are generally associated with brown seaweed species and are not specific to F. vesiculosus.

Dosing/Toxicology

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Precautions/Contraindications

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Interactions

Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

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Mechanism of Action

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History

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Evidence Table

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Evidence Discussion

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Products Studied

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.